Driving through Motueka in a sports car with the warm wind in my hair (take that, Lucy Jordan).
Lisa Scott is a writer, broadcaster, columnist and author. Reading about her bruised but undaunted spirit that set her up for a defiant Divorce Roady, I was inspired to invite her on a detour to my place.
During her visit, I discovered that part of her defiance included proving she was still attractive to men, so I recommended my version of her roady: decide to become a virgin. The suggestion was met with the tolerance given to a batty aunt, and she went home to write an article about her problems with internet dating.
I know! I know! We can’t physically reconstruct virginity without surgery. What I’m recommending is repairing the emotional hymen, but it’s not possible when surrounded by men with the anatomy and mind-set of penetration.
Let’s look at the style of woman who attracts more men than others. She has a confidence, or a vulnerability that appeals to many men, but not all. And it’s the men who aren’t interested that make her work harder at being desirable.
Lonely singletons are blinded by what they believe can’t be achieved, but the serial monogamist shares the doubt that she’ll never find a stable relationship. She manages to harbour her insecurities in deeper waters than the openly needy, and she can’t understand how somebody can be loved for who they are, despite of (or because of) some obvious imperfections.
So the *popular girl is prepared to hide things that are important to her, rather than risk being seen as ugly. But then, when her attraction is most critical for her relationship to survive, she can’t keep up the energy required to hide her true self.
Okay, so I might have been one of those *popular girls. I thought the only way my life could be secure was with the love of a good man. Problem is, when all those teenage hormones are taking your brain hostage, muscle and tan equates to Good Man.
But watch out! Those hormones can last into your twenties. Then, you meet somebody with a brain, and OMG this is true love. But it’s only the endorphins of adulthood moving in to replace the excitement of being a teenager in love.
My epiphany came when I discovered my This-Is-The-One, who claimed to be a recovering alcoholic, in the basement with a bottle of gin. Through the warped reality of his addiction, I realised how I’d allowed myself to be deluded. I, too, was an addict; hooked on Romantic Love.
My original virginity was discarded as a rite of passage into adulthood. Then, I used the vaginal wrench to crush a man’s belief in his own power. But then, I discovered the currency of sex, and became a compulsive shopper in love’s bargain basement.
An addicted brain is a traitor, so my solution was to go cold turkey. Virginity has the power of veto. By replacing the anarchy of casual sex with the status of virginity, I had the control to save myself for somebody who deserved more than a snatch a grab.
But a second-hand virginity isn’t much to give away. The only way I knew to contribute to a relationship was to mirror what I thought my partner wanted. So I had to put myself into a virtual convent and take a long, hard look at myself.
Trust me! You can’t see yourself through somebody else’s eyes. The adoration of a life partner is a wonderful thing, but only if you’re on the right path. If you haven’t found your path, you can only be the passenger on somebody else’s journey.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if the journey is fueled by sex and status, you’ll need to be stopping at too many service stations for a refill. The sustainable energy required for a successful relationship comes from a comfortable relationship with yourself.
But don’t get too comfortable! If the love affair with yourself becomes an exclusive relationship, you’ll end up as one of those batty maiden aunts.
*Replace “popular” with “slutty” if you haven’t redefined gender roles since men who invented religion told you what they were.